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Last Saturday’s Chicken Creek Classic was another successful meet for the Pagosa Springs High School cross country team.
The girls team finished the event in first place, while the boys brought home a third-place finish.
“It was a really great day,” coach Scott Anderson said. “It was not only a beautiful day to run, it was a good day for the team on both sides.”
The meet, held in Mancos, was smaller this year, with only six teams participating, but was nevertheless successful.
Emily Bryant took first place for the girls with a time of 20:52 — the second time Bryant has won the Mancos meet.
Olivia Reinhardt finished third in 22:04, a time that was only six seconds behind the second-place finisher.
Maddie Greenly was the next Pirate finisher, coming in eighth with a time of 23:22, with Taylor Hammer-Lee finished only one second behind to take ninth place.
“Maddie and Taylor did an excellent job, for young runners,” Anderson said. “They’re running really well right now.”
Rounding out the Pagosa team, Dana Danielson finished 21st with a time of 24:14 in her first match back from injury, with Anderson expecting her to gain some ground over the coming weeks.
Delany Khung finished 28th with a time of 25:07, and Megan Ellis finished 43rd in 27:40.
The boys, too, had a successful outing, returning home with a third-place team finish.
Tyler Greenly was the top finisher for the Pirates, coming in fifth with a time of 18:43, followed by Nick Hutcherson two seconds later in sixth.
Liam O’Brien was the next to finish, landing 18th in 19:57.
Chris Archuleta finished the race in 21st with a time of 20:16.
Rounding out the Pirates were Ethan Brown in 25th at 20:37, and Ben Miller in 35th with a time of 23:30.
“They’re showing signs of coming together,” Anderson said of the boys, noting that the team was closing gaps between it and rival teams, and that O’Brien and Archuleta are closing the gap between them and Greenly and Hutcherson.
But this week, the competition will be a bit tougher.
Today, the Pirates are taking part in a large meet in Colorado Springs comprising a great many 4A schools, with a smattering of 3A and 5A schools (PSHS is 3A).
While not on the state course at Penrose Events Center, the meet will take place nearby, and should provide the harriers with a state-like experience, Anderson said.
“We did it last year; it was a really good experience for them to run amongst a large number of individuals and a large number of fast individuals,” Anderson said.
More than 20 teams are expected to partake in the event, with teams allowed up to nine varsity runners, with five scoring for each team.
Following today’s meet, the Pirates have only one more competition before regional and state action.
“We’re starting to get down to it,” Anderson said.